Auschwitz survivor Edith Steiner and former commando John Mackay celebrate their 71st Valentine's
John Mackay, 96, rescued a column of Jewish prisoners as they were being marched from the Polish death camp by their Nazi guards as the Second World War drew to an end.
Among those rescued was a young Hungarian Jew called Edith Steiner, now 92.
John and Edith met at dance organised by troops shortly afterwards at a village hall. They married, moved to Scotland, had a family and now live together in a care home in Dundee.
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The devoted couple, who first celebrated Valentine's Day in 1946, still refer to each other as "sweetheart" every day and will mark today's event with a party.
Their advice to couples is to be romantic all year round – and not just on February 14.
The couple met at a dance organised shortly after the camp was liberated
Edith – known as Eci – and her mother survived the horrors of Auschwitz-Birkenau but – weak through lack of food and vulnerable to disease – faced the ever-present threat of summary execution on the death march.
John is a true gentleman. He is always checking in to make sure Eci is happy
Pamela Shaw, Bupa Balcarres Care Home
But Mr Mackay, who was serving with the London Scottish regiment, came across the column and rescued the prisoners.
The soldier, originally from Glasgow, whose own wartime exploits included escaping from an Italian prisoner of war camp, later spotted Edith at the dance but was too shy to approach her.
He sent a over a pal to ask her if she would dance with him but Edith insisted that he must ask her himself. He plucked up the courage and they married on July 17, 1946, going on to have two children, Sharon and Peter.
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Pamela Shaw, activity coordinator at the Bupa Balcarres Care Home, where the couple now live, said: "John is a true gentleman. He is always checking in to make sure Eci is happy and the pair still refer to each other as 'sweetheart' on a daily basis.
"Their devotion to one another is clear to anyone who spends even a short time in their company. John came to join us a year after Eci moved in, so it's wonderful that they are both near one another again.
"We're having a party for all our residents this Valentine's Day, so it's lovely to have such a real example of true love with us."
They married and moved to Scotland where they started a family
According to the couple's daughter, Sharon Mackay, her mother survived six weeks in Auschwitz-Birkenau in June 1944 when "Angel of Death" Josef Mengele was conducting experiments on inmates.
While there, Eci managed to make "keepsakes" which she has until this day, including a comb and a poem book.
After returning to Scotland. Eci and John – who have seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren – owned the Atholl Arms Hotel in Pitlochry, Perthshire, for many years, before they retired and moved to Dundee.
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